An Update On Charlie

The last few weeks have been pretty devastating because Charlie has not been well. Before I go into details, I want to be clear that he is doing OK, but he is officially a geriatric coyote.

A few weeks ago, his eating habits and demeanor changed drastically, and almost overnight. He got really picky about food and has been eating far less than usual. This time of year, he tends to eat a ton – anything and everything – in preparation for winter. His appetite dropped off and his preferences vary daily. Some days, he only eats raw liver. Some days, only raw eggs, Some days, only raw hamburger. Some days he’ll eat cooked hamburger and I can sneak in a healthy dose of my home-rendered tallow and super-concentrated bone broth. There were a few bad days where he wasn’t eating at all.

When this began, he stopped wanting to be pet and cuddled, and his posture and movements changed. He moved more slowly and stiffly. I interpreted all these signs as signs of pain—I just didn’t know what was causing the pain. I’ve been consulting with two vets and they suggested the three likely causes were cancer, organ failure, or joint issues/arthritis.

I chose not to run blood tests because of how stressful that would be on Charlie. I don’t know how to draw blood, so the vet (a stranger) would have to do it, and Charlie would have to be sedated for the blood draw. And if tests showed cancer or organ failure, there’s not much to be done in response. It just didn’t seem worth it. While organ failure can present with gradual symptoms in domestic dogs, my vet said that cats typically compensate until they go off the proverbial cliff and suspected the same might be true of wild canines, since this scenario matched Charlie’s signs—there was nothing gradual about the onset.

It was so sudden I wondered about poison or if it was a result of him eating a gigantic female carpenter bee. In early September, there was one in the house (these bees are huge – bigger than my thumb) and I was trying to catch it in a glass to move it outside. It kept flying away when I got close and then Charlie got in on the action, caught her in midair, and ate her. The females sting, but he showed no adverse reactions to eating the bee, and this took place almost two weeks before his decline, and he eats scorpions with no ill effect, so…?

And so we decided to treat for arthritis, since that could be done with pills hidden in food and with a low risk of side effects even if his malaise was not arthritis. But he had a horrible reaction to the first dose of prednisone. This is very unusual. He fell asleep immediately and was completely out of it for almost 24 hours (corresponding with the time it takes for the medication to metabolize out of his system). It seemed to make him really dizzy—the few times he did get up, he was very wobbly and off balance. Thankfully, that has resolved itself and I won’t be giving him more prednisone.

After observing and recording his signs and symptoms for the past few weeks, I do think it’s most likely a skeletal/joint issue in his hips or spine. Probably something that was developing over years unbeknownst to me and gradually enough for Charlie to completely compensate and hide it, and which finally “went out” one day.

He doesn’t act sick—his eyes are bright, he sings multiple times a day (other than the prednisone day), and he’s still very social and alert. He’s letting me pet him again. He’s lost weight but he’s eating enough. We’ve made changes to his environment to accommodate his decreased mobility, and I’ll be exploring gentle pain relief options.

I’ve decided to forego diagnostics for arthritis and invasive treatment—having x-rays and surgery would be far more stressful and painful for Charlie than whatever he is dealing with right now. X-rays would require total sedation; recuperating from surgery and wearing a cone would make him unfathomably miserable.

Every decision I make is with Charlie’s quality of life in mind. Quality of life and length of life do not always go hand in hand. This has been so incredibly hard….sometimes I feel really hopeful and sometimes I am a wreck. Your love and prayers are so appreciated—we both feel them, this I know is true! If you’ve cared for an arthritic dog and would like to share your experience/thoughts/tips, I’d love to hear. Shall I do a weekly Charlie update going forward?

one year ago: Gilded
two years ago: Kissable
three years ago: Little Coyote On The Prairie
four years ago: To The Moon And Back
five years ago: Crazy Love
six years ago: In Those Intervals
seven years ago: Defined
eight years ago: Soft Smile
nine years ago: Shock And Maw
ten years ago: Legs & Angles
eleven years ago: Uh Oh, Incoming….
twelve years ago: New Bling

146 Responses to “An Update On Charlie”

  1. Nicki Justet Says:

    Our huskies did really well on Dasuquin for their arthritis. I hope you find something that helps. ❤

  2. Ronda Says:

    I’m looking at my picture of baby Charlie sitting in front of your truck all those years ago…my little schnauzer would sit on my lap as I checked out Charlie’s newest picture, and read about your adventures. I miss him.
    I’ve had two dogs with arthritis. My 17.5 year old baby girl has it in her back legs. I’ve been giving her CBD oil with her food for about two years. I can tell the difference if she doesn’t have it. (I’ve ordered a new bottle too late a few times and run out). In the days before CBD, I had a dog with arthritis at the base of his tail/end of his spine. I used to make him wear full, four-legged pajamas to sleep. Keeping that end of him a little warmer really helped. Not sure about coyote PJs, but something to give him a little extra warmth where he sleeps?

  3. Amy Says:

    Oh, Shreve! I was actually just thinking a week or so ago that Charlie was ageing, and as a longtime animal person, I know what that means.

    There is never, ever enough time with our beloved animals — and I know you know this and choose to give your heart to your animals in spite of this cruel fact.

    I will be holding you and Charlie and the whole farmily in my heart as you travel this path.

    Even though I am a lurker, I am so grateful that you have shared Charlie with us for all these years. I’ll also treasure the Charlie book forever. You and he have enriched my life more than I can say.

    If you are able and willing to keep us updated, I would welcome it — and will smile, laugh and cry with you from here.

    And continue to send my love. Always.

  4. Andy Says:

    Hi Shreve…I don’t know what I can say here that I haven’t already said. You both have my sympathy for what you’re going through, and my love. I suspect you and Charlie have touched more lives than you know.

    I would like weekly updates, but only if you feel you have the time and are in a comfortable space to provide them. Please don’t feel obligated to share anything with us that you’re not comfortable sharing.

    While my family has had three dogs over the years, I’m afraid I was never especially involved in the kind of care that would leave me with any useful counsel here, but I hope you’re able to keep Charlie comfortable and happy.

    You both get all of my hugs. <3

  5. Sara Says:

    I’m an ER vet tech, when we start seeing these signs of decline or changes a lot of the time it is due to cancerous processes usually the spleen… we take it out and they’re back to their usual selves.

    Sometimes we’re lucky and it’s benign!

    With my own pets i WANT to know what the root cause is so I can then decide to treat it or provide palliative care..

    Any way you could sedate/ take the edge off and head into a vet with him, with minimal staffing at the beginning of the day before any other animals have been in/ left their pheromones around? Blood draws can be quick and easily drawn from a leg with a great technician…

    I think it’s just easier on ourselves to know we did everything we could during our time with them.

  6. Aostara Kaye Says:

    I know that – as always – you will do your absolute best as a animal guardian and will keep what is best for Charlie foremost in your thoughts and actions. I highly recommend CBD for joint/arthritis pain. I have had many personal felines + have fostered 100 more and concur that cats hide their illnesses until they literally can’t anymore and I’m equally sure that wild creatures do the same. We will be sending Reiki and all other sorts of positive energy to you and Charlie.

  7. Marianne Says:

    My Love and prayers are with Both of you all the time.❤️

  8. Aostara Kaye Says:

    Also – I think all animal lovers totally understand the roller coaster of emotions you are experiencing. Right now I have a geriatric cat who has been semi-recovering and then relapsing from an antibiotic-resistant URI for the past several months and my emotional state swings wildly day to day based on how he’s acting/breathing/eating. Fortunately we still have more good days than bad days, but… we know that can’t last forever, and plan to do our best re: medications/keeping him comfortable and just love the heck out of him during every day we have left.

  9. Karen Says:

    Sending love and prayers for comfort and peace <3

  10. Marlene Says:

    Every decision you have made for Charlie since the day your brought him home was spot on and in his best interest. What a wonderful life you and he share, and for those of us who have followed the story, it has enriched our lives more than we can say. Sending love and healing energy to you both, and I know you will do exactly what Charlie needs you to do for him when he needs you to do it. Thank you, a thousand times over, for sharing with us the amazing life you created together.

  11. Anonypilgrim Says:

    I too recommend Glucosamine. It’s made a huge difference for my animals and their arthritis.

    I would love weekly updates, but only if you’re up to it. Life is hard enough without outside pressure. Here’s hoping you find a solution quickly and are able to enjoy a few more years of Charlie’s company. Best wishes.

  12. Alyxx Says:

    As so many of us have said, this news is both devastating and not unexpected. You are making the absolute best decisions for him (no, I have no right to say that or to judge, but they are very much like the ones I’ve made in similar but not the same situations).
    I echo that chondroitin and glucosamine will help if it is arthritis, and not hurt if it isn’t. If you care, the one I use is a chewable “treat” that my older pit bull is happy to eat, it is Natural Hip and Joint Supplement for Dogs and I have it on subscription from that big company that I don’t advocate for (you know…the A to Z one based here in Seattle)

    All of my family – furry and otherwise – are keeping Charlie in our thoughts and holding you closely in our hearts.
    All I can say is that I truly love you and your farmly, even though we’ve never met. Please, be kind to yourself and stay safe.

  13. Holly Says:

    I have dreaded the day to hear that Charlie is unwell. I pray that it is only arthritis, and unfortunately, that comes with age. You and Charlie have been a daily read for me since I started following in 2008. So you have become part of my life too.

    Having had 2 dogs, I know the pain and anxiety that comes when they have problems, or start to develop signs of age. We agonize with them every day. And we do everything we possibly can to ensure they are comfortable and happy in every way. I have used the chondroitin and glucosamine and I believe it does help.

    I shall keep you close in my thoughts and prayers.

  14. Bruce Says:

    Hi Shreve and Charlie,
    I have been with you since the beginning of this amazing journey of Human and Coyote. All the time loving every moment in that journey. My support and well wishes continue in your direction.
    You are both strong in each others heart.
    Continue to be well, safe and happy.
    Love,
    Bruce

  15. katie Says:

    like many have said before me – i’ve been watching your little family with charlie since the early days – he was a pup the same year my (now old) heeler was! my heeler has been struggling with arthritis for a few years. after some trial and error, we’ve had the best good results with daily glucosamine and a daily squirt of meloxicam. CBD held off daily medication for a year or so, and we did as-needed carprofen until his stomach couldn’t take it anymore, but in the end he just needs something stronger and daily to keep up with him.
    hoping you two find a balance to keep him comfortable and at ease for the rest of his days. <3

  16. Bruce and Jo-Anne Says:

    Shreve,
    Our hearts are with you and Charlie right now and our interest is particularly intimate for a couple of reasons. We bought a motorhome and began full time living in it in April of 2007 when Charlie came into your life. When we first heard about your blog and book we immediately bought the book and then have been following the Farmily including Charlie every day since then. We’ve been around North America several times in our 100,000 miles including a lunch stop in Ten Sleep in the little church parking lot on the east side of town and we follow Charlie’s life on the computer every morning. Because we were so interested in following Charlie, a friend painted a picture of him for us. Jo-Anne also just received a signed copy of your newest “Meditations” as a birthday gift.
    The reason for this message is that Charlie’s aging has really hit home. Our cat Bandit was three when we began our journey in 2007 so is now over 16 years old and is a veteran “bus” cat. Some time ago he began showing all the symptoms you describe in Charlie. We’ve been through a gamut of medications and several traumatic sedated x-ray and sonogram things with no specific diagnosis and just harassment for the poor little animal. Up until yesterday we were using the prednisone with all the reactions you describe as well. After reading your description of Charlie’s treatment we’re done now, with the exception of pain relief to keep him happy in his waning years. And for the most part he is very happy and alert and still jumping up on the furniture for a pet and a purr. Thanks for your poignant letter as we continue to follow Charlie in his wonderful life. Bruce and Jo-Anne and Bandit

  17. Miranda Brooks Says:

    Two channels I follow: wolfgang2242 and NY Bully Crew both advocate using CBD on their dogs. Wolfgang specializes in adopting senior dogs only and he has 9. He mentioned one specifically once and very into natural medicines. Bully Crew rescues primarily pitbulls. You can find out from them which one they use.

    I’ve been thinking about Charlie out of the blue a lot for the last month which usually means something is wrong. I’ve checked in to see if pix were being posted. Wishing you and Charlie the best. One full sedation for bloodwork and xrays done while he is still in relative good health may be worth it insead of waiting until he is weaker and really not a good idea then. Full blood panels tell a lot. Saves times guessing which meds for which medical issue. I know from having senior cats.
    Get well vibes going to the cosmos for Charlie!

  18. Heidi Says:

    I haven’t read any of the earlier comments so this may be a repeat, but you might want to consider/explore glucosamine/chondroitin. It worked very well for my cat, it may be different for canines. Such a sweet guy you’ve got!

  19. Terry Says:

    I’m praying for both of you and the rest of the farmily. I lost my pup this past June after 13 1/2 years it’s so very hard to see them suffer. My heart goes out to you Shreve. 🙏🏻❤️🐕

  20. Debbie Henson Says:

    I too have dreaded this day and this information as I have been following daily almost since the beginning when Jon Armstrong (of Dooce fame) mentioned your site. Six weeks ago I lost my nine-year-old German shepherd Gem very suddenly from heart/lung failure, and until 12 hours before he died, there was absolutely nothing to indicate he was ill. The vet (Gem died at her office after I took him there for excessive panting) said that it’s not uncommon for them to hide symptoms and there was not much we could have done even if we’d have known about it. I am still grieving mightily, but the shock has worn off, and now it’s just getting used to the new way of life without him. He was a very high maintenance boy — I am 66 and live alone, so his self-proclaimed purpose in life was to protect me, and that he did, against everyone and everything, even though I did not need that level of protection. Life is very different now. I knew his situation was serious when he went with the vet tech easily without posturing and barking his head off. They told me he did fight and bit his tongue when they had to put him up on the table for the chest xray, but not for long; he was exhausted by that point and died a few minutes after that.

    All that is to say that I am so very sorry that dear Charlie is going down the familiar path of ageing. You still have time with him, to love him, to appreciate how he has changed your life for the better, and to pamper him if he will let you do that. People have had some very good suggestions for maintaining/improving his quality of life, and I hope that you can try some of them out. I also took Gem to the vet only when absolutely necessary because he just would not be handled without sedation. I did have him on Cosequin for a year or so because I could see that he was getting a bit gimpy, and he did very well on that med.

    Shreve, my thoughts are with you and Mike and of course your boy Charlie. Please post when you can. Checking in on your site has been a bright point for many years, and I hope many more to come. Sending healing love and light to you all.

  21. Anna Says:

    Thinking out loud here … would your vet be willing to teach you how to draw blood? It isn’t that hard. Giving Charlie a little something by mouth to mellow him out (but not put him out) should help with him allowing you to do it. That way you could rule out anything really nasty that you *could* do something about …

    Wrapping you and Mike and Charlie and Cloe and all the farmily in loving thoughts, and hoping, hoping, hoping that you discover a way to keep him joyful for a long while longer.

  22. Carolyne Says:

    It’s so odd you post this ; as I was thinking of Charlie & you the other day while driving. Yes, please do a weekly a update. Oxxx

  23. Kelly Says:

    Hi Shreve. I’ve been following you and Charlie for many, many years. My life with a Belgian Malinois, Abby, was step and step with yours. They even looked a lot alike. Abby had a similar and sudden decline this past summer. Much was due to arthritic spine pain, but also cancer. She got great relief from the NSAID Piroxicam (we chose this one because of the bladder cancer). For months that helped her greatly with mobility, appetite, energy, everything. I might also suggest CBD oil. There are several companies making it specifically for canines. My girl didn’t like the taste, but I think it was helpful.
    I’ll keep you both in my heart and mind, sending loving healing energy your way. Charlie is loved by so many! xoxo Kelly

  24. Becky Says:

    Shreve,

    I too have been dreading this day, but knew it would come eventually. I absolutely ADORE your farmily, and have loved following Charlie’s adventures with you, Eli et. al.

    I applaud your decision to not do anything super invasive. There is no pill that will make him a pup again, and doing natural things (CBD oil, glucosamine, etc.) should help to make him more comfortable in his golden years.

    Thank you so much for sharing his life with all of us, and we send so many fuzzy hugs and much love to you and Charlie. Now and always.

    Becky

  25. Musa_Mama Says:

    I started off my motherhood journey as you were starting your coyote mama journey those 11+ years ago.
    Every Tuesday I knew I’d get a lovely photo of Charlie in my inbox (that I’ve been saving in my Coyote folder) and I was and am still filled with childlike joy and wonder staring at those beautiful shots.

    Sending you and Charlie SO MUCH love and healing mama juju ♥️🙆🏻‍♀️🙆🏻‍♀️

  26. Dave Wilton Says:

    Like the others, I feel for you and am sending you and Charlie my love. The burden of an aging companion animal is an awful one to bear. But you’re doing the right thing in not being aggressive about treatment and trying to make Charlie’s remaining time (which hopefully will be long) the best it can be.

    I’ve gone through this twice with dogs. The first had a non-malignant cyst in his cerebellum which affected his ability to walk and even stand. The symptoms were controlled with prednisone, which he tolerated very well. But his difficulty walking masked cancer until it was almost too late. The only option was an operation that he had only about a 50/50 chance of surviving, followed by chemo. Given his age, I chose to let him go rather than put him through that. I’m sure that was the right decision.

    My next dog developed a sarcoma on her paw. She was younger, so I opted to try and save the leg. We went through radiation and surgery, which got the cancer, but didn’t leave enough tissue to heal over the wound. After several agonizing weeks of waiting for the wound to heal and daily vet visits, we took the leg. Four years later, she’s an elderly and happy tripod. But I’ve resolved that when the time comes, I’m not going to put her through that again.

    Wishing you and Charlie the best!

  27. JW Says:

    For what it’s worth from a stranger (although we exchanged some tweets about heat transfer a few years ago) I’m in agreement with your course of action about Charlie. Minimizing his stress is absolutely the correct course to take.

    Hoping for the best from Oregon.

  28. Melvina Says:

    Thank you for sharing Charlie’s health report. I can sense your feelings through your update. This is a most difficult time for both of you. Enjoy his wonderful daily songs, bright eyes and his desire for social contact–these are gifts from Charlie. You are showing such love and compassion in doing all you can to care for him and keeping him comfortable.

    This is a huge challenge. Savor Charlie’s better days and his companionship.

    My heart goes out to you and Charlie. I can understand your wide range of emotions as we recently experienced what you are enduring.

    Yes, I would appreciate receiving a weekly update on Charlie if you feel this is something you can do without additionally stressing yourself.

    Thinking of both of you,
    Melvina

    October 18, 2020

  29. Taxx Says:

    I’m very sorry to hear Charlie’s not doing well. I’ve been an avid follower for years since I first stumbled on the Daily Coyote book. He’s in my prayers and I wish the best for you both.

  30. Rue Says:

    I have followed Charlie’s story since the beginning too, through the lives of my dogs and cat. What a powerful gift he and you have been, and are, in our world. And Mike too, to partner with you through all of it, a remarkable man. And the wise goddess Daisy! Thank you, all the family, for holding such blessing space for Life. I am also about five minutes from finishing Meditations with Cows which is beautiful and profound. I read a lot of it through tears and all of it with admiration and appreciation for your deep wise spirit. The earth has such an ally in you. And yes please, keep sharing. We won’t run out of heart space for news of you and Charlie, and we sure won’t run out of tears

  31. Faith Says:

    Hugs!!!!

  32. Kelly Says:

    Hi Shreve,

    Reading about Charlie not feeling well and not being himself was hard, just as it is hard when I see it in my own two dogs. I have followed Charlie from the beginning, so I kind of feel connected to him.

    Having previously owned dogs that were TERRIFIED of going to the Vet, I get that you don’t want to stress Charlie out by bringing him there—I imagine Charlie is even MORE fearful and stressed as he is a wild dog even though he has adapted to life with a few people. Would it be the same stress/pain having a Vet come out to you if that was possible; or would that be equally as stressful and painful for Charlie?

    Not saying you are at this point with Charlie, but when the time came and it was apparent our previous two dogs needed our help to transition from this life into the next; our AWESOME vets came to our home to help them leave this world in PEACE and not in a place they were always afraid. It made horribly sad moments ones that were serene and peaceful. Ones where their current dog companion could be present and witness their passing—the connection in the end between dogs both times was a memory I will never forget. I think they both understood what was happening in that moment, and being together helped both the one leaving and the one being left behind cope so much better.

    Our first ever dog had many skeletal issues, spinal decompression surgery being one. She benefitted greatly from using Meloxicam (a liquid anti inflammatory that we put in her food) as well as Tramadol for pain (a pill we gave wrapped in food). She was VERY athletic and she was able to do most things that were fun for her after healing and rehabbing from her surgery with the long term use of these meds. I also think Glucosamine with Chondroitin chews would be good to give Charlie if the Vet said it was OK. It takes loading doses and a couple of weeks to build up in his system to see if it starts to help. I give Phycox brand, it is a soft chew.

    Please keep us updated on Charlie. As dogs get older, it can at times be a roller coaster of ups and downs, and it helped me in those times to share with others who understood and were going—or had gone—through the same.

    ((((HUGS)))) and healing/comforting vibes to both Charlie and you!

    Warmly,
    Kelly

  33. Glasslass Says:

    Minnesota Zoo has the largest population of coyotes, you might try contacting them and discussing Charlie’s conditions with them. They might have some insight without invasive treatment. Praying for Charlie and you.

  34. Suzette Says:

    Oh Shreve – I’m so sorry to hear about Charlie. It’s hard that our pets don’t have long lifespans and it’s always hard to deal with their aging and illness. If you’re able, please give updates.

    My previous dog did something similar, limping (moving from leg to leg), hind end weakness at times (at times it was absolutely fine), sudden loss of appetite, Except we were able to comfortably take him to the vet. But even that didn’t help – blood tests, pain relief, laser therapy on joints. When the suggestion for whole body cat scan at a specialist office to look for cancer came up (no suggestion in blood tests), we also decided any more diagnoses and/or treatment would be worse for him. We used CBD oil for comfort (physical pain and stress) – it seemed to work better (less side effects) than the prescription pain meds. Feeding him what he would eat. And lots of petting time, when/if he wanted it.

    People often say they will do anything for their pets. That doesn’t mean doing any potential treatment available or suggested. You know what would be best for Charlie.

    Sending you both hugs of support.

    Suzette

  35. Julie Blichmann Says:

    I’m sorry to hear about Charlie. I’m a relatively recent follower on IG and have enjoyed seeing his pics.

    I have used the following for myself or my dogs:
    🔹CBD (Charlotte’s Web has a chewy my dogs like)
    🔹DMSO (Available on Amazon) *note that DMSO is a carrier, so care should be used when handling other items before or after use.

  36. Valorie Harlow Says:

    I am glad you gave Charlie a good and loving home. I hope he gets better it is so hard to see our beloved creatures getting older. We will be thinking of him and sending some healing vibes your way

  37. Janice atkinson Says:

    Do not rule out a Charlie tooth infection. So overlooked and dangerous. Love to you both. Jana

  38. Donna Selby Says:

    You are a wonderful mom to Charlie…ty for that! If you haven’t given any antibiotics yet it might be a good idea. I’ve never had a coyote but I’ve rescued many dogs and cats.
    It sounds kind of sudden I’m wondering if it’s not an infection. Maybe trying a broad spectrum antibiotic may help. Just a thought. Love and prayers to you all🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  39. Janet M Says:

    This is heartbreaking news even though we only know Charlie from a distance, we love him. I did go through this sort of thing with my last dog, she had acupuncture and physical therapy (obviously this is not the solution for Charlie) and Tramadol. My friend used CBD oil with good effect (for a while, anyway) and as this is a natural remedy you might consider it. I will be praying for you and Charlie, and I am sending you love and hugs.

  40. Katie Black Says:

    Oh dear, I missed this somehow on the day it came. I am so sorry to read this, and it is just the hardest part about having animal family. We have had good luck giving our nearly 15 year old Border Collie/Kelpie mix Cosequin for dogs. She likes them and will eat them. She also gets carprofen (like ibuprofen for dogs) but really, got much better, gradually, one we started her on the Cosequin,

    Other people have had good luck with a little turmeric with something oily, like beef or chicken fat.

    Charlie knows he has a loving person. He has his animal family also. All we can do in the end is make our animals as comfortable as possible as long as possible.

    We have had pleasure over the past 12 years, getting our Daily Coyote. And the books. Ad reading the blog. I hope you do give us a weekly update at least, as you can. I will hold you and Charlie in my heart. and send you love and some sunny days.

  41. Judy Grigsby Says:

    Shreve I didn’t want to read your last letter about Charlie’s health. It’s one of the expected Results of life yet it seems to show up when you are not at all ready for it! My wonderful friends arrive and I am left wondering where the time went!
    I have gotten attached to Charlie and all your family and it seems like yesterday when I got your first book ! And started saving all of Charlie’s pictures!
    Charlie and all of your animal friends are so lucky to have you in their lives and they respond by being there for you as long as possible on this plain but, they will always be with you. That’s because of your Love.
    Thinking of you.

  42. luna sol Says:

    I had a Rottweiler/GShepherd. He was a big boy (~134lbs). His joint issues became apparent when he was 11yrs old. I went with q combo of western and Eastern vet medicine. My dog was treated with hydrotherapy, acupuncture, joint meds. It gave my dog about 4 more quality years of life But since Charlie doesn’t do well with strangers and you want to minimize any stress, acupuncture is probably not an option. Consult a vet that practices alternative/eastern vet medicine?

  43. Molly Says:

    I’m so sorry that you’re both (all) going through this hard time. Charlie has been a bright spot -and continues to be – for me. I love your story. Will be thinking of you.

  44. Terri Says:

    My heart is breaking with yours and for you all as you go through these tough times with Charlie. 💔 We have been there with our dogs many times and it’s a roller coaster ride of emotional ups and downs, from hope to despair. Just know that you and Charlie are deeply cared about by many folks out here, and we send you all our love and courage to give you support. Big hugs 🤗

  45. Lavern Says:

    I am sending loving and positive thoughts to you and your loved ones … all for your beloved Charlie. One just could not help falling in love with that precious little face in some of your very first pictures of Charlie. That one story in later years still makes me laugh. Where a person objected to Charlie and the “Elf foot”. My Daily Coyote Book is one of my most treasured possessions. Again, all my love and prayers for Charlie.

  46. Anne Umphrey Says:

    It was with shock and pain, but understanding that it would come to this eventually. I discovered your first book about Charlie a long time ago, by accident, in a book store and have been in love with him ever since. I am grieving in advance for him as I am for my black Lab mix rescue that came from Louisiana about 2 years ago. I adopt older dogs that are not as wanted and give them good place to call home in their latter years. Dakota came with many problems that were not known when the rescue group sent him north. He evidently had been hit by a car or something during a time period when he was a stray. His left hip and side were a mess, very much still in pain. He is on Gabapentin and Galliprant both of which are pain relievers, glucosamine and chondroitin (Dasuquin) along with a couple of holistic medicines, Solliquin and Devcor (a mobility helper). He is a new dog with them. Clearly not as much pain, able to jump and move freely. Just last week he went to the emergency hospital with an intestinal blockage. Good dumpster diver and able stray he finds all sorts of things to eat. During removal it was discovered that he has a mass in his intestines. So, Charlie and Dakota are commingling in my mind.
    Sending caring thoughts for Charlie and for your whole farmily as you go through this sad passage. I hope you are comforted by knowing that you have given him a long and good life, that except by Mike’s good act he would not have been here to give you happiness, and to give us all who care for Charlie happiness too. Thank you for sharing his life with us.

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